Energy institute HRVOJE POŽAR


Which solar panels to use on the roof - only for producing electricity, hot water, or both?

With the increasing use of photovoltaic systems for electricity production, interest and knowledge about their operation is increasing. What are the types of photovoltaic modules? How can I be even more efficient? Are they only used to produce electricity or hot water or both? Iris Ćurić, a researcher in the Department for Renewable Energy Sources, Climate and Environmental Protection of the Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar, answered numerous questions and dilemmas for the portal Zgradonačelnik.

The efficiency of photovoltaic modules is one of the key technical shortcomings, ranging up to 20 percent. In theory, the maximum efficiency of a photovoltaic cell is about 35 percent (for FN modules with a single p-n junction). Nevertheless, the efficiencies achieved are pretty good. Still, it is indisputable that the more significant part of the aired energy is converted into heat and heating of the FN modules, reducing their efficiency.

Namely, by increasing the temperature of photovoltaic modules, their efficiency decreases. It may seem illogical, but solar modules work better at lower than high temperatures. 

As a result of everything, a logical question arises - how to cool FN modules more efficiently, can this heat be efficiently used, and how? Can a photovoltaic module and a solar thermal collector be combined as one device? If so, why aren't such devices used more often, especially in residential buildings?

The entire text is available on the website of Zgradonačelnik.


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